Use ERP to Become an IoT Enterprise
The Internet of Things (IoT) is gaining traction in the consumer world as a smart, predictive way to make day-to-day life easier, from home security systems that can send alerts to smartphones to fitness trackers that can help you reach your workout goals. Now, it’s time for IoT to (rightly) take on the manufacturing and enterprise software world. Huge, untapped potential lies in the data that IoT and ERP technology can generate on a manufacturing shop floor, and you can take advantage of it now by connecting your ERP and your shop floor through the cloud to create your own IoT environment.
The basic premise of manufacturing IoT is pretty much the same as you’ve likely come across in daily life. Sensors embedded in your manufacturing machinery can share data, process information and communicate operations with the main hub of your ERP system.
Through the Internet of Things, you can interconnect your entire manufacturing floor, or floors as the case may be, with the rest of your business. This is not only a boon when it comes to process management, but it can also help you cut back on major areas of waste within your operations and strengthen relationships with your customers. Some may think that sounds too good to be true, but check out the infographic and keep reading to find out about the power that IoT and ERP technology can bring to your company!
Click on the above image to view the full-size infographic.
Complete Process Control
Just as the Internet of Things allows consumers to turn on alarm systems at home, IoT and ERP give their users total control and oversight of their facility, even when they’re not in the office or on the shop floor. Once they have internet-enabled sensors embedded, your shop floor machinery can broadcast crucial production data to other machinery on the production line, to teams in your quality and compliance departments, and to you—wherever you need it.
Furthermore, because IoT technology allows for all of these interactions to happen over the web, you can also access whatever information you need in real time to make decisions on the spot and keep your business moving forward. Leveraging the sophisticated capabilities of IoT and ERP means you will have unprecedented control over your business, wherever you need it.
Lean Scheduling Capability
Here at the Datix blog, we have gone into quite a bit of detail about the importance of lean manufacturing techniques and how they can foster business growth. Lean principles work to eliminate waste in all areas of your business, be it an overstocked warehouse or surplus raw materials. For manufacturers looking to streamline their production processes and become a lean business, the Internet of Things is great news. An interconnected IoT and ERP manufacturing environment allows your machines to work in tandem with each other.
Say one particular production line is experiencing a slowdown due to maintenance issues—that line can communicate the problem to your employees and to related production lines. That way, the demand can be redirected down a line that can handle the workload, and you can send your team to get the affected machinery back up and running at full speed again. This kind of symbiotic relationship is a core tenet of lean, pull scheduling principles where every workflow stems back from the ordered product. Only the amount of product demanded by your customers is made, and that means only the necessary materials are ordered. This means less inventory, less unnecessary work and ultimately less money wasted. An overall win for your business in the end.
Connectivity for Customers
You can even make IoT a unique selling point for your client base, whether it’s extolling how the new technology will result in improved delivery times and product quality for the same prices, or how modern IoT and ERP will allow you to innovate new products based on customers' needs and their interactions with your current product. Indeed, you can (and should) turn your organization’s innovation into a marketing goldmine—be it targeting new customers looking for a forward-thinking brand or remarketing to keep those old customers loyal.
For example, manufacturers can install in-product sensors that will know if a product needs maintenance or is coming to the end of its life cycle and sell maintenance services or a replacement product before anyone else can get their foot in the door. Naturally, your IoT network can include online interaction with your customer base, including their purchasing history. Once you learn this history, you can then predict future demand and schedule production accordingly so that you have the right amount of product available whenever your customer needs it. This kind of coordination allows your brand to build meaningful relationships that keep customers coming back to your products.
One thing to consider before implementing a broad IoT network throughout your facility: do you have the technological capability to handle all of the datasets that IoT inevitably generates? Manufacturing IoT and big data inevitably go hand-in-hand, and small businesses with small teams or limited server space may find themselves overwhelmed with all of the information available to them.
That's where ERP comes in. ERP can organize your big data and help you find actionable metrics and drill down into vital information. The principle purpose of ERP software, after all, is to help you streamline your operations and keep moving upwards in the enterprise world, and IoT technology can help you in furthering that goal!
To fully leverage your ERP software for growth and connectivity, reach out to Datix, an Epicor Platinum Partner. At Datix, we have over 20 years of experience in helping businesses use enterprise software to achieve their goals. We owe our success to our commitment to both excellence and innovation. If you need help deciphering data in your own organization, or are looking to take advantage of the power of IoT and ERP on your manufacturing shop floor, get in touch with an expert at Datix today!